Shenaniginstigator In Chief
Name: Celeste Delia Cantwell Monroe
Birth date: Summerday, 9:6
Occupation(s): Ship's Captain, Mercenary, Bounty Hunter, Thief, Smuggler ... whatever pays the bills. She'll even take an honest job if it sounds interesting
Celeste is 5'8” with honey-blonde hair that falls well past her shoulders & is generally mussed. She most often wears it loose, with a twisted bandanna serving as a headband to keep it out of her eyes, which are moss green and usually gleaming with mischief, either in planning or recently executed. Her skin is deeply tanned from long hours on a ship's deck beneath the sun and crisscrossed with multiple scars. Both ears are pierced numerous times from the lobe upward and adorned with a variety of studs, gems, hoops or whatever strikes her fancy. She has an athlete's build, trim and not overly bulky, with strength built from years of climbing rigging, hauling on lines and steering ships through rough seas. Missing the little toe on her left foot after getting tangled in some lines when she was seventeen.
Clothing: Celeste has curves and knows how to emphasize them when it suits her purpose, but on board her ship, she dresses for duty, wearing a loose-fitting linen shirt, heavy cotton trews and a leather vest equipped with pockets both visible and hidden, in which she stows all manner of items. She has a fondness for bright colors, expressed in bandannas tied about her upper arms and above her knees, which serve the added purpose of distracting the eyes of her opponents in a fight. She prefers bare feet on deck (a childhood habit she refuses to give up, despite the loss of her toe), a sturdy set of boots or sandals for walking on land and a pair of soft-soled slippers for second-story work.
Weapons & Armor - Paired red steel daggers are her weapons of choice; she also carries two braces of throwing knives and has a lightweight ash crossbow, the bolts tipped with poison for special occasions. When combat seems likely, she wears a set of inscribed leather armor enchanted with a novice Tempest rune, a gift from her late husband.
Master: Seamanship, Legerdemain
Expert: Stealth, Lock Picking
Intermediate: Bargaining, Contacts, Drinking, Evaluation, Gambling, Leadership, Navigation, Swimming, Traps
Novice: Poison Lore
Languages: She is fluent in Common, Antivan and Rivaini (spoken and written), proficient in Qunlat (more spoken than written), and can deliver insults in Orlesian and Tevene.
Expert - Dual weapon (Daggers), Unarmed
Intermediate - Crossbows
Her birth documents list Celeste's middle name as 'Delia', but 'Mischief' would have been a more honest appellation. The need to tweak the nose of the nearest authority figure has been present seemingly from birth. Highly intelligent and not overly burdened with self-restraint, boredom is something for which she has never possessed any tolerance, and if it threatens, she responds with self-devised antidotes that range from subtle to cataclysmic. The one place she is never bored is at sea, and on board her ship, she maintains discipline among her crew, though she gives them plenty of opportunity to cut loose and enjoy themselves whenever they make port. She can't carry a tune in a bucket, but she enjoys music and is well aware of the boost it can give to crew morale; a talented minstrel can generally trade their tunes and tales for passage on the Wicked Grace.
To strangers, she appears open, garrulous and irreverent, but whenever she is chatting someone up, she is also simultaneously sizing them up: as a potential customer, opponent or mark. She will quite deliberately make provoking remarks just to see the response she gets, and 'prigs' who take offense are likely to be needled until they flare up or flee, then find their underwear drawer has been sprinkled with itching powder, or greased nugs released in their drawing room. 'Good sports' who bear up under her teasing are generally granted an early reprieve, while those 'cheeky buggers' who give as well as they get delight her, though they also frequently fire a spirit of competition that can lead to lively times.
She is staunchly loyal to friends and crew, and while having little use for the laws of men, she has her own code that she lives by. Assassinations and slavery are two activities in which she will not engage, and once she takes a job, she will not double-cross a client (It should be noted that on occasion she has taken on a client with the express purpose of double-crossing them, either as part of a job for a third party or an elaborate practical joke on behalf of the Friends of Red Jenny. She has also accepted pay for killing some bastard who needed killing. These are totally separate matters, to her way of thinking.). It should also be noted that if a client attempts to double-cross her, she doesn't get mad; she gets even ... and then some.
She steals as instinctively as most people draw breath, trading off her booty (usually at a tidy profit) at the nearest marketplace. The thefts and the bargaining are the challenges that she relishes; the coin is just a handy way of keeping score, and she's as likely to deposit her profits in a beggar's cup or buy drinks for an entire tavern as she is to keep it - as long as her overall cash situation is good and her crew has been paid.
The wife of wealthy Ostwick merchant Reginald Cantwell died in childbirth shortly before he was to leave to oversee operations of his trading offices in Antiva City. Hiring a wet nurse, he took his newborn daughter with him, though he had little idea of how to be a father. Celeste grew up traveling between her father's business enterprises in Antiva, Rivain and the Free Marches, learning to love the sea on the numerous voyages and terrorizing a legion of nannies and governesses with her antics. Though not mean-spirited, her mischief led to the departure or dismissal of more than one of the many hired by her father to oversee the energetic and intelligent child. The ones that lasted the longest were those who found a way to capture her interest and challenge her intellect, but the well-meaning tutor who taught her sleight-of-hand likely regrets that choice to this day, as she quickly translated her aptitude in those skills to pilferage and pickpocketing. It was a game for her to empty her pockets at the end of the day, showing off what she had stolen so that her father could anonymously send payment to the merchants, that being one of the few times that he took any part in her upbringing.
When she was twelve, she convinced her father that she should be taught to fight, pointing out the risk of encountering pirates on their sea voyages, and her natural agility translated well into fighting with paired daggers. Her illicit acquisitions continued, and her exasperated father began to threaten to send her to the Chantry or – worse – arrange a 'good' marriage for her to make her someone else's problem.
At the age of sixteen, she caught the eye of Daniel Monroe, captain of the Wicked Grace: a mercenary and smuggler hired by Reginald to slip shipments of expensive Antivan brandy past customs in Orlais and the Free Marches. Drawn to the free-spirited and attractive young woman, Monroe left the last load of booze on the docks and took a very willing Celeste instead. Reginald publicly bemoaned the loss of his daughter, breathed a private sigh of relief and turned his attention back to his business.
Celeste, in the meanwhile, found herself on a grand adventure. In addition to his seagoing trade, Daniel was also a member of the Friends of Red Jenny, with contacts in numerous ports, and Celeste found the mischief perpetrated by the group entirely to her tastes. Not content to simply serve as her lover's bedwarmer, she declared that she would earn a place on his crew, then delighted him by doing just that, learning what little she had not already absorbed about sailing and fighting, then applying it and working her way up to Second Mate (it being all but impossible to displace Gideon from his position).
Her romance with the captain fifteen years her senior was as unconventional as the rest of her life had been, but suited them both perfectly, and their partnership was both profitable and satisfying. Though never formally wed, Celeste took Daniel's name as her own. During the Blight, they turned a tidy profit transporting refugees away from Ferelden.
When Daniel was swept overboard during a savage winter storm on the Waking Sea in 32 Dragon, there were some on the crew of the Wicked Grace that muttered that they would never serve under a woman captain. Those few were put ashore at swordpoint at the next port of call, and while it took Celeste a few tries to find good replacements, in the two years since, she has assembled a loyal and experienced crew with an eclectic mix of talents. She remains an active member of the Friends of Red Jenny, a fact known only to her closest associates and select contacts in each of her ports of call. She misses Daniel, but has no regrets about their years together and knows that he would want her to continue to enjoy her life and their ship to the fullest.